fenced pre fence

Since the last news letter the fences and the cattle grids have been but put in place. Even the most obtrusive fence up from ENP picnic area blends into the bracken and next year the bracken will have covered the open area caused by the construction on the steep slopes.

Elsewhere the picture is the same, for the most part the fence line is not as obtrusive as many had feared.

View 2006 View 2005 –pre fence

In the woodlands the picture is the same and the fencer needs to be congratulated on the quality of the work. So far the goats have not been walking along the fence lines trying to escape.

All that remains to be done are add the “shut the gate” signs and make minor adjustments to the closing springs. It is to be hoped that GAP guidelines will be followed “Suitable signs should be erected on all access points to the site, notifying the public of the need for conservation grazing, that livestock are present, giving emergency contact details of the grazier, and/or the site manager, and stating that dogs must be kept on leads, or under close control where livestock are grazing ”.

The only problem remaining are visitors leaving the gates open, unfortunately predominantly on the North Walk Coastal Path and at the cattle grid at Poet’s Corner. However, the goats that may have strayed seem to jump back over the fence from the walls to join their comrades.

The modern cattle grid has a standard gap of 12 cm and narrow 2cm flat grid bars, the frame is bolted onto a rubber sound insulating layer, a far cry from the old round bar grids which are no longer used on public roads. Surprisingly, under stress the goats have been seen to tiptoe across the grid without breaking their legs. The stress is usually caused by impatient drivers who give the animals no time to move to the sides and hence scare the animals and “push” them onto the grid. Speeding in the Valley has been a problem for some time, and, as the tourists are admiring the scenery, it is usually local people involved.

As far as we are aware the fence is seen, by most people, as a great success and it is unlikely that we will report on it again.

The shelter at Poet’s Corner

Other positive news is that the Council is considering the renovation of the shelter at Poet’s Corner, removing it from the domain of the goats back to its original function as a shelter for tourists.